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(Yes, we need another) Holiday Movie Thread

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OldAle1
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Re: (Yes, we need another) Holiday Movie Thread

#81

Post by OldAle1 » November 14th, 2019, 12:47 pm

albajos wrote:
November 14th, 2019, 9:11 am
The snow has arrived so those awful Xmas movies as well.

A Very Corgi Christmas (2019)
Shot in an afternoon in Canada. The male lead has a career of making these movies, often with a dog. Terrible child acting, not enough puppy.

Noelle (2019)
Starting line up on Disney+. But just the same lackluster quality as the average Disney Channel movie. Even manage to make Anna Kendrick boring. Too much CGI reindeers.
The snow arrived here too - a couple of weeks ago. This is rare for southern Wisconsin, in fact so far we're way into record territory in terms of total snowfall for the season, and it's been below freezing most days since about Oct 29th.

As far as XMas movies go I think they start up on Lifetime or Hallmark - or maybe both of those channels? right after Halloween, so I could watch a few if I wanted to for sure. But one of my traditions is to not watch any made-for-cable Christmas films and I think I'll continue that.

I'm actually sort of tempted by that Last Christmas flick which is playing in cinemas but there are too many other films to see now so it will wait for home viewing, if I bother. I mean I'm sure it's awful but I like Emma Thompson a lot and this looks more bearable to me than most of her other recent films for whatever reason. My own holiday viewing will probably not start in earnest until around Dec 1.

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#82

Post by albajos » November 14th, 2019, 12:56 pm

Yes, Emma Thompson is all fine, but Paul Feig completely unrestrained use of improvisation in his movies makes it a pass

(I don't know if is as evident here as if he uses Melissa McCarthy, but but it may be even worse as with Chris Hemsworth, a non-comedian trying to be funny as in Ghostbusters)

Also it is a nostalgia trip? Freedom came out in 1990, so it is set at that time?

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#83

Post by albajos » December 1st, 2019, 2:47 pm

Radio Christmas (2019) - meh
Rock and Roll Christmas (2019) - bad
Hogfather (2006) - midly recommended
Kiwi Christmas (2017) - cute
Bad Santa 2 (2016) - terrible

also
Lotta flyttar hemifrån (1993)
a more espisodic story, so they celebrate both xmas and easter, and more everyday life stories

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#84

Post by xianjiro » December 1st, 2019, 8:18 pm

Haven't been through the 83 posts, but am wondering if anyone knows of any good holiday movie lists on iCM. I've done the basic search, but am curious if any sub-genre devotees have a favourite list or two.

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#85

Post by OldAle1 » December 2nd, 2019, 12:15 pm

xianjiro wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 8:18 pm
Haven't been through the 83 posts, but am wondering if anyone knows of any good holiday movie lists on iCM. I've done the basic search, but am curious if any sub-genre devotees have a favourite list or two.
No, and I've looked also. Been thinking about making up my own, but it would probably be just a list of personal favorites. I don't know what a list of "important" or "significant" holiday-themed films would look like honestly, it's not something I feel able to judge, though I've probably seen the vast majority of older American and British films that would qualify for such a thing.

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#86

Post by OldAle1 » December 2nd, 2019, 12:26 pm

And my own holiday viewing has started inauspiciously...

1. Frosty the Snowman (Rankin/Bass, 1969) (re-watch)

I've probably seen this at least 15 times over the years, starting early on in my life and the film's life. As I mentioned up-thread, I love the Rankin/Bass stop motion work, though admittedly much of that love is pure nostalgia, but I'm much more mixed when it comes to their traditionally animated stuff, like this. Like all their best work it has some good voice work with the great Jimmy Durante narrating, and classic voice artists like June Foray and Paul Frees also present, and this one has somewhat better animation than a lot of TV stuff from this era. And the title song of course is classic, so despite a really silly and maudlin plot, I still enjoy this if I only watch it once every few years - this was probably the first time since 2015 or 16.

2. Frosty Returns (Evert Brown/BIll Melendez, 1992)

This sequel on the other hand I don't think I'd ever seen. It's of some interest for animation fans for the presence of long time Charlie Brown director Melendez, and in fact the characters and shots look a lot more like various Peanuts shorts than like the earlier Rankin/Bass film. The plot somehow seems even dumber than the original - a villain wants to take winter away from a town with some magic spray thingie, and everybody in town goes along with him, threatening our man Frosty (voiced by John Goodman of all people). This is pretty bad, despite Goodman and other solid performers like Jonathan Winters and Jan Hooks, and I'm fairly sure I'll never watch it again.

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#87

Post by matthewscott8 » December 2nd, 2019, 1:00 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
December 15th, 2017, 6:45 pm
Interesting stuff. The point about the Tarzan and Bond movies being on is particularly neat, it ties in with some of my memories - not Christmas, where I really only remember Christmas-themed films showing every year, but Easter where we traditionally saw The Wizard of Oz alongside all of the Biblical epics. Why, I have no idea. My sister-in-law who grew up in Québec remembers seeing The Sound of Music every year, that's her Christmas classic, but I don't remember it being on then here in the midwest USA, in fact I think that might have been an Easter-time film as well.
Delayed reaction... Yes Sound Of Music is a Christmas movie in the UK too, although given the move to the right here I'm sure we'll find a way to refilm the movie so the children get taken to Auschwitz and put that on instead; another option could be Terminator 7: Ho Ho Ho, where an army of un-camouflaged T-800s wearing santa hats finally succeed in exterminating the human race.

Gone With The Wind is my quintessential Christmas movie, but for actual movies set at Christmas, my favourite is Eyes Wide Shut, which I thought mentioning as I couldn't find it in the thread yet. That's not just a creative response from me, I think it is an actual alternative Christmas movie.

FYI apparently your NBC played Sound Of Music every Christmas from 1979-1999. Apparently ABC air it every Crimbo now, although usu around the 15th, so not a hot slot like 25th.

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#88

Post by albajos » December 2nd, 2019, 1:10 pm

Other than It's a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street there's aren't really many Christmas classics. Maybe The Grinch TV special and The Snowman. And Pluto's Christmas Tree.

Of course you have Home Alone, Nightmare before Christmas, A Christmas Story that several find fum, but not exactly something I would put in a list to recommend to everyone.

RottenTomatoes top 50 are here: https://editorial.rottentomatoes.com/gu ... as-movies/ but the movies get mediocre quite quickly. Also there are several movies there that happen in Christmas time, but they are not about Christmas.

The Telly have shown Donald's Snow Fight every ChristmasEve here as long as I can remember. But that one is not about Christmas, just Winter.

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#89

Post by albajos » December 2nd, 2019, 1:12 pm

matthewscott8 wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 1:00 pm
army of un-camouflaged T-800s wearing santa hats finally succeed in exterminating the human race.
Image

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#90

Post by matthewscott8 » December 2nd, 2019, 1:17 pm

albajos wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 1:12 pm
matthewscott8 wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 1:00 pm
army of un-camouflaged T-800s wearing santa hats finally succeed in exterminating the human race.
Image
I thought someone must have got there before me!!! Is this Futurama?

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#91

Post by OldAle1 » December 2nd, 2019, 1:18 pm

matthewscott8 wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 1:00 pm
OldAle1 wrote:
December 15th, 2017, 6:45 pm
Interesting stuff. The point about the Tarzan and Bond movies being on is particularly neat, it ties in with some of my memories - not Christmas, where I really only remember Christmas-themed films showing every year, but Easter where we traditionally saw The Wizard of Oz alongside all of the Biblical epics. Why, I have no idea. My sister-in-law who grew up in Québec remembers seeing The Sound of Music every year, that's her Christmas classic, but I don't remember it being on then here in the midwest USA, in fact I think that might have been an Easter-time film as well.
Delayed reaction... Yes Sound Of Music is a Christmas movie in the UK too, although given the move to the right here I'm sure we'll find a way to refilm the movie so the children get taken to Auschwitz and put that on instead; another option could be Terminator 7: Ho Ho Ho, where an army of un-camouflaged T-800s wearing santa hats finally succeed in exterminating the human race.

Gone With The Wind is my quintessential Christmas movie, but for actual movies set at Christmas, my favourite is Eyes Wide Shut, which I thought mentioning as I couldn't find it in the thread yet. That's not just a creative response from me, I think it is an actual alternative Christmas movie.

FYI apparently your NBC played Sound Of Music every Christmas from 1979-1999. Apparently ABC air it every Crimbo now, although usu around the 15th, so not a hot slot like 25th.
Yeah it's funny I don't have memories of seeing Sound of Music at Christmas, I probably did at least once between 79-83 when I was in high school. I think it's probably because the movie just doesn't do that much for me - and I'm probably more into those big bloated 60s musicals, and musicals generally, than anybody else here. I like it and some of the songs are really great but... I just never have any desire to watch it, and I did see it a couple of years ago with the family, not really by choice, so it'll probably be a while now...

Your first paragraph... I wish it were funny, but alas it's not.

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#92

Post by xianjiro » December 2nd, 2019, 5:16 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
December 2nd, 2019, 12:15 pm
xianjiro wrote:
December 1st, 2019, 8:18 pm
Haven't been through the 83 posts, but am wondering if anyone knows of any good holiday movie lists on iCM. I've done the basic search, but am curious if any sub-genre devotees have a favourite list or two.
No, and I've looked also. Been thinking about making up my own, but it would probably be just a list of personal favorites. I don't know what a list of "important" or "significant" holiday-themed films would look like honestly, it's not something I feel able to judge, though I've probably seen the vast majority of older American and British films that would qualify for such a thing.
Well yesterday I searched on Christmas (haven't tried Holiday yet - maybe later) and came up with around 30 lists. I too have seen most movies on each list but a couple - one was mostly shorts and the other was something like Best 100 and this list barely made it to tin. It also had a lot of titles I didn't recognize, so I wondered just how best it was. I'm not entirely certain that it's over-padded by 2/3rds. Seems like 25-30 titles makes a good overview of a special sub-genre.

As for the difference between favorite and important: there is value in both. I was able to find a couple titles I believed I've seen (but before I started logging) and so those will be easy rewatches. Also found a few I've not yet seen, so at least I'll be moving on as well.

Anyway, if anyone comes up with a list they think is especially good, wouldn't love to read about it. :D

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#93

Post by albajos » December 3rd, 2019, 1:58 pm

I see I skipped a movie in post 83
A Very Harold & Kumar 3D Christmas (2011)
a bit more sown to earth movie than the two previous (H & K) ones, and with a typical family tradition message. But no classic in any regard.

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#94

Post by Onderhond » December 12th, 2019, 8:41 pm

So are there any decent lists?

I searched Letterboxd but contrary to the horror options, the Christmas lists are few and short. ICM doesn't have one either and from the ones I've found, there are many highbrow lists that settle for "a little snow" or "set somewhere around Christmas", meaning nobody with an actual taste for Christmas spirit is going to enjoy these film.

Checked this thread and might filter some out, but there's a lot of text, not many images and well ... my trust in the ICM forum (taste-wise) isn't that high.

So, any recommends? Good places to look (ie longer lists, in the range of 100+ films)

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#95

Post by OldAle1 » December 13th, 2019, 7:09 pm

Onderhond wrote:
December 12th, 2019, 8:41 pm
So are there any decent lists?

I searched Letterboxd but contrary to the horror options, the Christmas lists are few and short. ICM doesn't have one either and from the ones I've found, there are many highbrow lists that settle for "a little snow" or "set somewhere around Christmas", meaning nobody with an actual taste for Christmas spirit is going to enjoy these film.

Checked this thread and might filter some out, but there's a lot of text, not many images and well ... my trust in the ICM forum (taste-wise) isn't that high.

So, any recommends? Good places to look (ie longer lists, in the range of 100+ films)
Wouldn't know where to start in recommending stuff in this area to you - maybe films I hated? :woot: But seriously given that you don't seem to be very nostalgic - at the very least, you don't like old movies much - you won't get much help from me. Of the 15 films in my initial post only 4 are post-1980 and 1 of those post-2000 and I wouldn't expect you to like a single film on the list. And frankly most current-day Christmas stuff looks like crap to me and I wouldn't necessarily think you or most people would go for most of it either - all the Hallmark stuff and the Xmas rom-coms in the wake of Love Actually, blech. You might like some of the CGI animated stuff of recent years more than I do I suppose, dunno, I've skipped nearly all of it myself. I actually rather liked Zemeckis' mo-cap Christmas Carol, but nobody else I whose taste I respect did, so maybe something's wrong with me; then again I like Zemeckis in general more than most of my fellow snobs.

Anyway here's a list that's fairly large (140) and recent (films up through 2017) that includes at least a few non-American/British films, which automatically makes it a little more interesting than a lot of totally Hollywood-centered lists. But not much.

https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/christmas/filmclub/

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#96

Post by OldAle1 » December 13th, 2019, 7:24 pm

3. Jack Frost (Rankin/Bass 1979)

I grew up on the Rankin/Bass holiday specials; I may well have seen the 1970 Santa Claus is Comin' to Town on it's first showing, when I was 5, and that and Rudolph have been perpetual favorites ever since, with the traditionally-animated Frosty and the cult favorite The Year Without a Santa Claus coming in on the second tier. I can't help but admit that it's largely nostalgia, these are pretty mediocre if watched with jaundiced adult eyes, but I admit to my nostalgic rose-colored-glasses prejudices so that's that. This is one of the ones I never saw originally, or maybe only saw a bit of (the beginning was vaguely familiar) for some reason, and it's never attained anything like the popularity of the others. And now I know why. A lot of it is retreads of Santa Claus, and the songs and voice acting aren't nearly as good, and the story (winter spirit Jack Frost falls in love with a girl, becomes human, has to save the town, decide whether to renounce his humanity or his powers for good, etc etc) is just stupid, well, more stupid than the others. Buddy Hackett is a poor sub for Burl Ives or Fred Astaire as a narrator, and the only thing that saves it from the completely dismal IMO is Paul Frees as the villain Kubla Kraus (who is really just a repeat of Burgermeister Meisterburger from Santa Claus but so what, he's fun) and Father Winter. Well I'm glad I saw it, only a couple of other R/B to see now, but I certainly won't be putting it in the yearly, bi-yearly, or even once-in-a-while holiday slots.

4. Die Hard (John McTiernan, 1988) (re-watch, duh)

This might be the first time I've seen this at Christmas time, at least consciously. Of course it's not REALLY a Christmas movie, but it does have plenty of bits and pieces of Xmas trappings throughout, in music and dialogue and such, and in some ways that adds to the more amusing parts of the film. I've probably seen this about 8 times straight through now - only once in the cinema on first release I think, and my feelings were more mixed then; my very feminist girlfriend at the time simply couldn't stand the arc of Holly Gennaro/McClane, in particular the moment at the end where she takes her husband's name again. I tend to agree, but mostly I feel like "what's the point" - it's like a dig at feminism that has no actual purpose. More troubling to me is the paranoid anti-government attitude we see throughout, and which is clearly a part of McTiernan's own worldview. BUT... they aren't enough to kill the movie, and I still love it in spite of the flaws, just not as much as a lot of other people. Predator and The 13th Warrior don't have the same kinds of issues for me and are just as well done as action films, and I rate both of them higher. Then again they don't have as much good dialogue, and they don't have Alan Rickman. Ho ho ho.

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#97

Post by Onderhond » December 13th, 2019, 9:12 pm

OldAle1 wrote:
December 13th, 2019, 7:09 pm
But seriously given that you don't seem to be very nostalgic - at the very least, you don't like old movies much - you won't get much help from me.
Believe it or not, but I'm asking for a friend ... at least somewhat :D My girlfriend loves to watch these films around Christmas and I don't mind joining in, so older films are fine too. Believe it or, we just watched Rudolph (1964) for the first time in our lives.

And once in a while there's a film that surprises me, like last year's Grinch. A big step up from the usual USA CG fare (then again, made in France). Anyway, looked at your list and it looks mighty interesting, so thanks a bunch! Exactly what I was looking for.

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#98

Post by Fergenaprido » December 14th, 2019, 8:41 am

A timely opinion piece about whether or not Die Hard is a Christmas movie (verdict: it is), including some interesting information about It's a Wonderful Life that I never knew before: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/saskatoo ... -1.5391048

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#99

Post by OldAle1 » December 18th, 2019, 12:31 am

Krampus comes for Christmas horror in a 2015 double feature -

5. A Christmas Horror Story (Grant Harvey/Steven Hoban/Brett Sullivan)

It's weird reading reviews of this - nobody can seem to get the number of stories in this interconnected anthology film correct. Lots of people say there are three - and indeed there are three "main" stories, but some say four and one mentioned three - but forgot one of the main stories! Are people even watching it, or are they just going by the number of directors? For the record I have no idea (nor do I care) who directed what, but there are in fact five segments here

a) Santa Claus has to fight off elves that have turned into zombies
b) A DJ at a local radio station (William Shatner! no surprise, this is a Canadian production) keeps hearing awful stories about strange events on Christmas eve in this small city
c) three teenagers are investigating a multiple murder in the old high school that happened a year before - one of the victims was the grandson of Shatner's character
d) a cop who dealt with the murder goes out into the forest with his wife and kid to get a Christmas tree, but the kid gets lost and comes back...changed
e) a family, with a teen daughter who is friends with the characters in c) go off to see a nasty, stingy old relative and awaken the spirit of Krampus, the evil anti-Santa

This wasn't terrible, and the stories were woven together somewhat interestingly and competently, but it also wasn't anything particularly exciting or horrifying either. The Santa story was probably my favorite.

6. Krampus (Michael Dougherty)

Had I known that this was from the same director as Trick 'r Treat (and more lately the newest American Godzilla film, sigh) I would have probably gotten to this sooner. Well better late than never - like the earlier film this is just great, a lovingly done working out of the old German Krampus legend, with a couple of families snowed in together having to fight off the demon as it and it's little helpers (lots of creativity in the various monsters here, which I won't spoil) slowly go through the humans one by one, and the boy who is responsible for calling the creature has to figure out how to put an end to it. After watching this I went back and watched the RedLetterMedia review, which was pretty spot-on; I like how they pick Dougherty for the inevitable Gremlins remake, he would be great; like his first film, this recalls a lot of the more kid-friendly (but not TOO kiddie-lite) horror films of the 80s and early 90s, but is better than most of them. Might deserve a spot on my Christmas best list and a slot in the rotation.

an inevitable rewatch after almost 30 years...

Home Alone (Chris Columbus, 1990) (re-watch)

Strangely I was thinking this had come out a couple of years earlier, seems more "80s" to me. Anyway I worked in a video store chain with locations in Evanston, IL and Highland Park, IL, when this came out - part of it is filmed in both of these Chicago suburbs, though the McCallister house is in between, in the tiny and very wealthy burb of Winnetka. Of course all of our customers had to see this, love it, own it, and you were a total Grinch if you didn't think it was the best thing ever, and I didn't, and was. I mean, I skipped it in the cinema, and in those days I was seeing well over 100 films a year on the big screen. It's written by Columbus' mentor John Hughes and at the time I pretty much despised all of his work, and this is as good an example of his problems IMO as any - the identification with rich assholes is probably the biggest part of it, in this case mostly the mother (Catherine O'Hara) of Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) who's the kid left alone. Over and over in Hughes films it's the rich and priveleged who get to throw tantrums and are seen as somehow better than the rest of us - though to be fair, this isn't so much the case in Planes, Trains or the Vacation films. Here though the whole family just exudes privilege and a lack of concern for inferiors like the pizza guy or the various people O'Hara yells at when trying to get back to her special boy that she forgot somehow. I suppose some see the film as indicting the family in some way, but it never comes across that way to me, and if I identify with anybody or care about them, it's the robbers played nicely by Joe Pesci and tolerably by Daniel Stern. I didn't hate this as much this time I suppose - maybe some of it's nostalgia for Chicagoland, and a greater appreciation for Mac's undeniable talent and charisma, but at the same time I noticed more things to dislike, such as the extremely overlit cinematography and one of John Williams' worst scores ever. Well nobody can accuse me of not giving things a second chance, but I doubt there will be a third. HUMBUG!

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#100

Post by sebby » December 18th, 2019, 7:12 am

Klaus was ok, not as good as the hype.

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#101

Post by xianjiro » December 18th, 2019, 8:38 am

sebby wrote:
December 18th, 2019, 7:12 am
Klaus was ok, not as good as the hype.
Seriously?!!? You mean it's NOT really one of the 250 best movies ever made? :o

Just watched Prancer - it was okay. :o I enjoy the Very Harold and Kumar Christmas movie a lot more. Have some other odd things coming up. The library selection isn't that great this time of year.

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#102

Post by Pretentious Hipster » December 18th, 2019, 5:06 pm

There was a trend on a torrent site I used. someone made a compilation of them:

HUGE IMAGE WARNING
SpoilerShow
Image

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#103

Post by OldAle1 » December 18th, 2019, 5:11 pm

I'm guessing most, or all of those are from Hallmark Channel movies - they do about 30 NEW Christmas movies every fucking year, and I'm sure virtually 100% of them are heartwarming romance/family "traditional values" crap.

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#104

Post by Fergenaprido » December 19th, 2019, 3:12 am

Pretentious Hipster wrote:
December 18th, 2019, 5:06 pm
There was a trend on a torrent site I used. someone made a compilation of them:

HUGE IMAGE WARNING
SpoilerShow
Image
Looks like this list needs to be updated!


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#106

Post by Pretentious Hipster » December 19th, 2019, 9:33 am

Fergenaprido wrote:
December 19th, 2019, 3:12 am
Pretentious Hipster wrote:
December 18th, 2019, 5:06 pm
There was a trend on a torrent site I used. someone made a compilation of them:

HUGE IMAGE WARNING
SpoilerShow
Image
Looks like this list needs to be updated!
This is brilliant. Thanks for posting this

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#107

Post by OldAle1 » December 19th, 2019, 5:07 pm

8. The First Christmas: The Story of the First Christmas Snow (Rankin/Bass 1975)

Another R/B mediocrity from the 70s, with Angela Lansbury the most prominent voice as a nun who takes in a shepherd boy who's been blinded by lightning, and with his help they learn the true meaning of Christmas or something. This was just dull - the animation was par for the course, though perhaps less interesting simply because it pretty much all takes place in and around a rather ordinary monastery; the songs, forgettable, though Lansbury does sing "White Christmas", if you're like a completist or something for that song. Obviously a bit more overtly religious than some of the others, but not so much that I found it irritating for that reason.

9. A Christmas Story (Bob Clark, 1983) (umpteenth viewing)

I don't think I have anything new to say about this - I watched it the last two years and made more comments upthread. I did watch parts with the commentary (Clark and star Peter Billingsley, done in the early 2000s I think) and that was fairly worthwhile, particularly for the stories about writer Jean Shepherd, described as sort of a kind-hearted cynic, something that made me smile.

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#108

Post by RBG » December 21st, 2019, 4:25 am

New Hallmark Original Christmas Movies from Your Favorite Hollywood Directors

“Chestnuts Suffering on an Open Fire,” Werner Herzog

When she is asked to direct the nativity play, the local chestnut farmer Noel learns an important lesson: mortality is chaos, and the only thing that binds us all together is destruction. And, after Noel witnesses Nick, her former high-school flame, being fatally mauled by a rabid reindeer, she comes at last to accept that to exist is to suffer. Candace Cameron Bure stars.

“I Saw Mommy Killing Santa Claus II: Stealth on the Shelf,” Michael Bay

Holly, a busy lawyer and a divorced mom, promises her daughter that this year she’ll be home for Christmas—that is, until a massive blizzard threatens to disrupt her travel plans. Desperate to keep her word, Holly has no choice but to blow up the blizzard. Now a fugitive from the law (and the National Weather Service), Holly taps into her black-ops training and steals Santa’s sleigh, setting off an adrenaline-fuelled, high-speed chase across state lines. Featuring multiple shots of the trucks in pursuit of the sleigh exploding in slow-motion while “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” plays, and also, for some reason, several long, slow camera pans up Mrs. Claus’s body, clad in nothing but a fur-lined bikini.

“The Toymaker,” Paul Thomas Anderson

In order to save the family farm, the reclusive toymaker Worthington H. Nevergreen must try to win his small town’s annual toy-making contest. As he becomes more and more obsessed with his craft, Nevergreen slowly alienates himself from everyone he loves. Surrounded by weak, deceptive women and under the sway of a charismatic cult leader, Nevergreen eventually flees, but only after setting fire to his toy shop. The rest of the movie is about the firemen who put out the blaze, as well as the random and tragic ways that all human lives intersect. Lacey Chabert stars as Nevergreen.

“santa!,” Darren Aronofsky

When he learns that his teen-age daughter doesn’t believe in him, Santa Claus begins to question reality. As the increasingly deranged Claus becomes obsessed with the idea that he never existed, it’s up to the people of Fraser Fir Pass, a charming Christmas village, to remind him of his true self. They fail.

“Jonathan Claus,” Noah Baumbach

Three hundred and sixty-five days a year, Santa and Mrs. Claus live a simple, quiet life together in the North Pole. That is, until their twenty-four-year-old son, Jonathan, loses his job at a New York City haberdashery and is forced to move back home. Unmoored and directionless, Jonathan struggles to find his purpose in the workshop, while the disruption to their empty-nester lives wreaks havoc on Santa and Mrs. Claus’s marriage. Candace Cameron Bure plays the divorce lawyer.

“Prancer in the Dark,” Lars von Trier

In the spare wilderness of the North Pole, Prancer finds young love with Eve, a wild reindeer from the forest. This three-and-a-half-hour film observes the decay and eventual collapse of their relationship after Eve suffers a miscarriage and subsequently descends into madness.

“Ornamento,” Christopher Nolan

Matthew Mistletoe, a widowed father/corporate hitman, hates the holidays but can’t remember why. As mistletoe starts to find Christmas-tree ornaments that spark fond yuletide memories, however, he realizes that his handler has been engineering his memories in order to manipulate him into taking out small-business owners in various charming Christmas villages across the country so that the massive corporation they work for can build luxury condominiums. Michael Caine stars as Santa Claus, whose wife is also dead.

“The Hateful Eight: Rudolph’s Revenge,” Quentin Tarantino

All of the other reindeer used to laugh and call him names. But that was years ago. Now Rudolph (known simply as “the Deer”) is ready to exact his revenge against the eight reindeer who were once his tormentors. He’s making a hit list, and he’s checking it twice. And, one by one, he’s going to track down Dancer, Prancer, and all of their old buddies—and he’s going to make them play his sadistic reindeer games.

shamelessly copied from the new yorker
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#109

Post by brokenface » December 21st, 2019, 10:41 am

I'd watch most of them :thumbsup:

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#110

Post by burneyfan » December 21st, 2019, 9:36 pm

:lol: :lol: :lol: :D

Best Christmas movies ever. :cheers:

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#111

Post by Nathan Treadway » December 22nd, 2019, 12:43 am

Onderhond wrote:
December 12th, 2019, 8:41 pm
So are there any decent lists?

I searched Letterboxd but contrary to the horror options, the Christmas lists are few and short. ICM doesn't have one either and from the ones I've found, there are many highbrow lists that settle for "a little snow" or "set somewhere around Christmas", meaning nobody with an actual taste for Christmas spirit is going to enjoy these film.

Checked this thread and might filter some out, but there's a lot of text, not many images and well ... my trust in the ICM forum (taste-wise) isn't that high.

So, any recommends? Good places to look (ie longer lists, in the range of 100+ films)
https://www.icheckmovies.com/lists/have ... iedearest/

122 films, Based on a book. Has a little bit of everything.

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#112

Post by xianjiro » December 22nd, 2019, 9:24 am

Well, watched A Snow Globe Christmas tonight. It was okay - not quite as schmaltzy as it could have been - which was a plus - and judging against some of the other Christmas movies featured in the previews, I felt like I got off pretty lightly. Actually liked the ending, while not just merely happily-over-after, there was a refreshing touch of humanity that helped end on a positive note. However, I'm still a bit amazed that someone made a Christmas meta movie. Won't surprise me a bit if there's a Roadkill Cafe Christmas or Christmas at the Kaaba. Why? Well why not - everything else is a setup for a Christmas movie.

I've got a Golden Christmas triple-feature and I think I'm a bit scared.

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#113

Post by xianjiro » December 24th, 2019, 12:33 am

watched Comfort and Joy today - okay movie with some weird twists
Santa Clause 2 - great set design for the North Pole, but that's about it; plot points feel crammed in to make the desired story work UGH
also saw Santa and the Ice Cream Bunny (Beanstalk) yesterday - gawd awful! Truly horrific filmmaking in the grander scheme of things, very amateurish - like someone read a pamphlet "How to make a movie for less than $100"
last Goof Troop Christmas - afternoon kids home from school fare, and not very good at that

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#114

Post by xianjiro » December 26th, 2019, 12:09 am

If there was ever a time I wanted a movie to have the tagline "When Goldens Attack" it was during the first dose of torment called "A Golden Christmas". UGH! I was expecting movies focused on animals doing quirky things around Christmastime that maybe helped humans get romantic (genre requirement it seems). For the entire triple feature, but goldens and holiday are more of prop or at best plot element: no, humans behaving annoyingly is front and center. There's nothing about these movies that even needs either Christmas nor dogs (although the first one - the movie I despise most - the dog at least figures as a magical element) and nothing says Christmas for me like Long Beach (CA) Harbor in the two sequels.

This is the sort of schlock we miss out on by watching "good" movies that make well-thought-out lists. BTW, a few minutes into the third movie, I shut off the player and stuck Scrooged into the VCR and had a much better time. Even though it has issues (the timeline never has quite made sense to me), it still can make me smile and laugh and of course I've now got many of the best lines memorized, and can deliver them on queue. But interestingly, this movie has Christmas interwoven throughout - it doesn't feel like a mediocre movie script that has Christmas shoehorned into it to make it an unneeded genre flick. I also think Carol Kane does a magnificent job with the opportunities and technical requirements of her role.

I think there might still be one Christmas movie in my library stack, but I'm honestly not all that interested. Will see what I think of it before I pronounce my best and worst of Xmas19 - other than whatever makes box office, I hope I remember NOT to attempt to watch unseen Christmas movies next year. The pain! The suffering! The torment! Please ghosts, kill me now because Christmas schlock ISN'T going to do the trick. BAH-FUCKING-HUMBUG, man!

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#115

Post by RBG » December 26th, 2019, 5:49 am

time for the greatest holiday movie

Image

merry xmas everyone :cheers:
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#116

Post by maxwelldeux » December 26th, 2019, 5:24 pm

Here's my quick rundown of Christmas viewing:

Die Hard (eve) Die Hard 2 (Christmas day). Mostly because of tradition, but we love them.

The Movies that Made Us: Die Hard: Because we watch Die Hard, we of course had to watch the making of doc on Netflix. And it was a lot of fun - I didn't know a lot of what was in that doc, so it was pretty fun to see. Like the SWAT guy who had his shirt caught on a thorn - Wife and I were discussing whether that was purposeful or not (it was). Biggest revelation for me was that they were writing the script while filming. A little surprising.

Alone for Christmas: Home Alone for dogs. Literally - it's the exact plot of Home Alone, except it's a dog who's left alone and must defend the house from burglars. Totally ridiculous and stupid, but cute enough. We had fun watching it, though no one will mistake it for a "good" film.

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#117

Post by albajos » December 31st, 2019, 11:22 pm

https://www.imdb.com/search/keyword/?ke ... ar%27s-eve
818 movies with New Year's Eve

I actually saw New Year's Eve (2011) in cinema. It can only get better from there.

Happy New Year! It's 00:20 here.

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#118

Post by Onderhond » December 31st, 2019, 11:28 pm

Sometimes I wonder if they turn December into such an ordeal, simply to make the new year more appealing. I'm glad this whole thing is over again!

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#119

Post by OldAle1 » January 1st, 2020, 3:50 pm

Catching up...spent too much time driving and before that chauffeuring my brother around while he recovers from his broken ankle. And drinking, which goes along with watching movies but not with writing (at least not for me). So I'll have to prolong this agony for a little while longer, getting down these memories...

10. Yes Virginia, There is a Santa Claus (Charles Jarrott, 1991)

TV movie adapted - apparently very, very loosely - from the famous 1897 New York Sun editorial in which one of the paper's editors, Francis Church (played here, surprisingly enough, by Charles Bronson) answered an 8-year-old girl in the affirmative, that there is indeed a Santa Claus, and that he represents all the imagination and hope that the world needs, and that we will always have him and need him. Along with Krampus this was the surprise of this season for me, a really lovely little film that is in fact much more timely now than it was almost 30 years ago when first produced, dealing as it does quite explicitly with the plight of poor - and discriminated against - immigrants in the working-class slums of the day. In this case the immigrants are Irish (Virginia and her parents, the father played by Richard Thomas, still known at the time for The Waltons) and Italian, but the story is much the same today, just with different nationalities. And Bronson of course came from a poor Ukranian family, and the Jewish Ed Asner plays his boss; overall the thing feels very much made for the Trump years. And it's pretty solid, if predictable - drunken and despondent recent widow Bronson brought out of his cynicism and despair by the holiday cheer of the girl's innocent letter and the plight of those suffering more than him.

11. A Charlie Brown Christmas (Bill Melendez, 1965)

Last year I said it was at least the 20th viewing, so this year it's at least the 21st. I had some interesting thoughts about this while watching it 10 days ago or so but of course I didn't write them down. Maybe next year I'll have the definitive review. I will say that I got into talking about it a bit with my sister-in-law because we were remembering the popularity of fake trees when we were kids (60s-70s) and I mentioned how the biggest fake tree manufacturer was located not far from where I live in Wisconsin. Certainly when people talk about commercialization, glitz, gaudiness at this time they have only to see this short - and earlier, much earlier works - to see that it has always been like this, and the complaints have always been there too.

12. How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (Chuck Jones, 1966)

And this one I've seen even more times; actually if I had to guess I'd say I've watched this more than any other piece of film/tv - at least consciously. Also nothing new to add this year; never gets old that's for sure.

13. Hardrock, Coco and Joe: The Three Little Dwarfs (unknown, 1951)

I suspect almost nobody here has seen this, and almost nobody but me would like it. Also umpteenth viewing - like I said on page one of this thread, you kind of had to be in Chicago, sitting through the double feature at The Music Box, singing along...



14. Christmas Vacation (Jeremiah Chechik, 1989)

Watched this 2 years ago also, and commented on page 1. Similar feelings - I can't say this is improving at this point, but I like it just enough to watch it every 2-3 years in the rotation. I will mention this time that it's an awfully long drive from Chicago to get a Christmas tree, or to go sledding - in the Rocky Mountains! Much like The Fugitive, I guess a lot of people not from the midwest don't see this gaffe; but give that this is a comedy, and a pretty broad one, I guess it's more forgivable here - maybe even intentional, as we know that Clark will go to pretty much any length to create the "perfect" Christmas.

It's not holiday-themed but I also finally watched Vegas Vacation, the 4th and last of the original series just after this. Very meh - maybe a little better than European Vacation but pretty damn forgettable all around. Wayne Newton's small but memorable role is really the only highlight.

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#120

Post by OldAle1 » January 25th, 2020, 5:04 pm

Forgot that I never finished this off. Oh well, I'll do it now and then it will likely not get a bump until Easter...

I watched the last two of these at my brother's place, on his new 4K TV, which he had not (and probably still has not) bothered to adjust properly - everything looked a little weird, often the colors were rather extreme though this was less pronounced on DVD/BD than on cable stuff. And both of these movies had an unnatural 3D quality to them that I found distracting - I've seen both of them many times in the cinema and on VHS and DVD in the past, including watching the specific DVD of the first of them on my own 1080p TV a few years ago. So I dunno if it's his TV or what. Anyway they both looked amazingly sharp and if you'd told me WC was a BD or even 4K I'd have believed it.

15. White Christmas (MIchael Curtiz, 1954) (Christmas Eve)

11th viewing or so, watched this last year as well, and can't say that I got anything new out of it this time. It remains more a nostalgia watch than anything, apart from Danny Kaye who I like more all the time.

16. It's a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946) (Christmas Day, after fucking Star Wars Part Whatever)

Roughly 35th-40th viewing but first in about 4 years. Being with my brother I had to see this one again, and I think also the death of our mom had an effect. I saw this in the cinema with bro in 2010 or 2011 I think, the last time I went to the Music Box in Chicago for the Christmas sing-along (with White Christmas also, and a couple of shorts in between, and carols). Always a great time. Of course it was very different this year, with my brother being the kind of guy who will almost never sit still for a whole movie at home - I mean, he'll watch it, but he has to get up to get a 6th or 7th or 8th beer at some point and take a piss, more of a hassle of course when he's got a broken ankle. Anyway I digress... the hassle and irritation really didn't matter, this film sucks me in every time, and it remains to my mind the greatest achievement for both Capra and James Stewart, and one of the 2-3 best American films of the 40s, and --- along with the very, very different Magnificent Ambersons, one of the decade's strongest indictments of the American/capitalist economic system. Of course I'm not sure that the increasingly conservative and populist Capra meant it that way, but that's the way it comes across - it's a film about community and selflessness and charity and sharing triumphing over meanness and self-centeredness, as I suppose most "Christmas" films are. And it's the inverse of A Christmas Carol in some ways, or a side-step to that story, with Stewart as the Bob Cratchit to Lionel Barrymore's Scrooge, Henry Potter. I really can't think of anything significantly negative to say about the film, after all these viewings and years - I probably wouldn't keep getting so much enjoyment out of it if I felt it had huge problems. Some have pointed out the racial stereotyping of Italians - but given Capra's own Italian birth and heritage and his pride in it, I tend to doubt anything deliberate there - and of course Potter's statement about "garlic eaters" comes across as quite intended racism, and we're not supposed to identify with that. Certainly the roles of women and other factors in almost any drama of this period date it somewhat, but it's also to the credit of the film that Donna Reed's Mary comes across as a pretty full-fleshed character despite her limitations, and indeed it is in the fleshing out of a huge multitude of major and minor supporting roles, most notably Thomas Mitchell's Uncle BIlly, Henry Travers' 2nd-class angel Clarence, and H.B. Warner's Mr. Gower, that opens the film up and gives it a more universal feeling that has probably contributed to it's lasting relevance. Everything else in the film, including one of Dmitri Tiomkin's best scores and photography by two of the great masters of b/w from the era, Joseph Biroc and Joseph Walker, is first-rate, but ultimately it's Stewart's performance - for me the greatest in cinema history - that I treasure, and if there's a more fully formed fictional character in cinema history, I guess I haven't seen it yet.

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